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Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity

When I post updates on LinkedIn, sometimes I will post a tip for transitioners. My latest is this:

Today's tip for transitioners: Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.

How do you feel about luck? Do you believe that you can improve it?

This saying, that Luck happens when preparation meets opportunity, is an oldie. I'm not sure who to credit, but I learned it way back when I first cracked open Richard Nelson Bolles' bible for job hunters and career changers, What Color Is Your Parachute?

For job hunters, the idea is this: you can influence both variables, preparation and opportunity. Here's how:

On the preparation side of luck, much of what you do in your search gets you ready: your job search objectives and gameplan, your company research, your diligent cultivation of your network, all are examples of the activities that you can control and invest in on a regular basis that help you to be ready.

On the opportunity side of luck, you have to be visible and findable. There are so many ways to do this. Foremost is updating your LinkedIn profile on a regular and frequent basis. This not only boosts your visibility to your network, but increases your findability when recruiters go searching for talent.

One other way to be visible and findable is to Put Yourself Out There. This is one element of the Pixley Formula (based on Charles Pixley who said "Believe in yourself. Improve yourself. Put yourself out there. Be seen."). It can take many forms.

I put myself out there by writing (such as this examiner column) and by speaking. Tonight for example I will be speaking at The Financial Executives Networking Group in New York City.

In your field of expertise, what can you do to Put Yourself Out that you are visible and findable?

Opportunity is like a searchlight that is always on and always sweeping back and forth, looking to cast its light on someone. Why not you?

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Tuesday March 18, 2014

Terrence H. Seamon is a consultant who provides leadership and team development services to organizations. His book Lead the Way explores the challenges of leadership. Additionally, Terry is a job search and career coach whose book To Your Success provides a motivational guide for anyone in transition. His third book, Change for the Better, provides leaders with a guide to initiating, and navigating through, organizational change. Terry co-founded and co-moderates the St. Matthias Employment Ministry in Somerset, NJ. His free whitepaper on job search and transition, called "Galvanize Into Action," is available by sending him an email request. He can be reached at and via his website:

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